Norm Uhl

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2011

    HISD Adds Transgender Category To Its Anti-Discrimination Policy

    HISD specifies transgenders as protected​The Houston school district has added categories for transgendered individuals to its policy against discrimination. In addition to the already existing "sexual orientation," HISD has added "gender identity, and/or gender expression" to its list of cat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2011

    Tremaine Paul, 18, Bayou Body Count No. 43

    Violence at a girls' football game​A fight at an informal girls' football game at Worthing High turned into a deadly shooting last evening, Houston police say. Tremaine Paul, 18, was shot at least once and was pronounced dead at the hospital; at least five other people were injured. HPD says ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2011

    Rolling Blackouts: City, HISD Try to Cope

    ERCOT can't handle Mr. Freeze​ERCOT, the electricity cooperative that distributes power across Texas, has ordered rolling blackouts this morning because all you damn people insist on staying warm. You probably know this if, like Hair Balls, you awoke to no power this morning. About 330,000 c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2010

    Yates High Principal Amidst Sex Allegations, Texas Watchdog Says

    ​When Ronald Mumphery quit as principal of Yates High at the beginning of this school year, no one had any answers as to why. Now the Texas Watchdog is reporting that, based on documents it has, Mumphery resigned "after being accused of multiple acts of sexual misconduct with teachers and oth ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2010

    Farewell, Abstinence-Only Sex Education: Teen Mothers Don't Salute You

    Bristol Palin likes abstinence-only now​For the first time in a decade, the federal government is out of the business of funding abstinence-only sex-education programs.Because, as it turns out, teaching kids it's bad to have sex doesn't really stop them from having sex. It just stops them from lea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2010

    Fall Enrollment is Down at Nine Apollo 20 Schools in HISD

    NASA's Apollo 20 never got off the gorund​This year, there are fewer kids enrolled at the nine middle and high schools in the Apollo 20 schools than there were at this time last year -- 810 fewer to be exact -- according to numbers provided to Hair Balls by the Houston ISD.This number doesn't come ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2010

    HISD and Its Pluses and Minuses in Apollo 20 Schools

    Apollo 20 or Apollo 13?​For two business days now, Houston ISD staff crunched numbers at Hair Balls' request and finally came up with a more finely tuned status report on the transfers out of and into the Apollo 20 schools so far this year. We published an earlier accounting using the exact figure ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2010

    UPDATED: More Than 4,000 Students Leave the Tougher Apollo 20 Schools

    Apollo 20: Not everyone's on board​What's not to like about a longer school year, longer school day, more rigor in the classroom and having your parents more involved in your education?Well, it may be coincidence or it may not be everyone's idea of heaven because more than 4,000 students hav ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2010

    Clifton Middle School -- We Don't Need No Stinkin' Textbooks!

    Who needs them?​All this fuss across the state about what's in children's textbooks and as Clifton Middle School in the Houston ISD will tell you -- it doesn't matter at all. A friend of Hair Balls contacted us the other day to say that there were no lockers and no textbooks for students at Clift ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2010

    Texas Education Agency's Rankings Come Out

    Stats and numbers that say anything you want​The Texas Education Agency has released its latest set of accountability rankings, and you know what that means -- the results can be spun any way you want, depending on your agenda.The Houston school district professed satisfaction: The state acco ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2010

    TEA Says Key, Kashmere "Academically Unacceptable"

    Problems at two schools​The Texas Education Agency has declared Key Middle School and Kashmere High School "Academically Unacceptable" following an investigation into the standardized test cheating and other employee shenanigans at the schools.The TEA is reporting that "actions by some campu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2010

    HISD's Diana Davila Resigns, And Rumors Fly

    Photo courtesy HISD Diana Davila quits abruptly​Houston school board member Diana Davila's sudden resignation, announced late yesterday, has a lot of rumors flying.Whether any of them are true is another question.Davila did not respond to our request for an interview, but HISD spokesman Nor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2010

    Newsweek Picks Officially Troubled HISD High School As One Of Nation's Best

    It's failing, but it's great!​Newsweek has come out with its latest ranking of the nation's best high schools, and the Houston school district is crowing that a record number of HISD highs made it.The usual suspects are there -- DeBakey, Carnegie, Bellaire and Lamar -- but joining the list this ye ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 17, 2010

    Tobi Oyedeji's After-Prom Accident: Sleep Deprivation Can Be As Bad As Drinking For Teens

    Bellaire High's Tobi Oyedeji​Houston police are still investigating Sunday's early-morning crash caused by a Bellaire teen coming home from the school's official after-prom party, and the school itself is still in shock at the death of a popular, hard-working basketball star.(The family of the 50- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2010

    Stay The Hell Away From The South Loop If You Know What's Good For You

    The West Loop is a disaster area right now. An 18-wheeler has shut it down.From TxDot: EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF IH 610 WEST LOOPAt the request of the City of Bellaire, the Texas Department of Transportation has closed IH 610 West Loop southbound mainlanes and frontage road at Bellaire and is in the proc ... More >>

  • News

    March 4, 2010
  • Blogs

    February 23, 2010

    HISD Cancels Outdoor Sports This Afternoon As Horrendous Blizzard Threatens

    The Houston school district has canceled "outdoor athletic trips" today, spokesman Norm Uhl says."This has to do with playing games in the weather. Our indoor athletics events such as basketball are NOT cancelled," he says.Temperatures are expected to reach the low teens this afternoon, with as much ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2010

    Local High School Sports Outfitter Getting Bigfooted by Nike

    ​For 17 years B-Bad Sportswear of Houston has been providing uniforms for teams in the Houston school district, employing 22 workers, hustling to replace torn or missing jerseys before games, proud to have made the shirts and shorts worn by state champions.At one time, boss Gerald Taylor tells Hai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2010

    HISD's New Hire Leaves Questions Behind In Dallas

    ​The Houston school district announced a major reorganization yesterday, naming three top officials to oversee elementary, middle school and high school education.Two of the three came from out of the district, including David Simmons, who will supervise high school policies.Simmons had been super ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2010

    Bellaire High Students Take First Steps On Road To Godless Communism, Possibly

    Photo courtesy HISD​We guess they didn't get the memo out at Bellaire High that the USSR is an enemy devoted to selling us the rope with which we'll hang oursel -- wait, what? The Berlin War fell? We won the Cold War? It must not have made, because we don't remember reading about it. At a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2010

    Latest Principal Shifts In HISD Bring Grumbling

    ​There's been a sudden round of mid-year principal shifts in the Houston school district, and it hasn't brought smiles.Energetic and popular Lee High School principal Steve Amstutz is moving on after failing to raise the troubled school's "unacceptable" Texas Education Agency status. His attempt t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2010

    Be Proud, Texas: Your Public School System Is So Great It Can Turn Down $700 Million

    ​Governor Rick Perry, in a valiant bid to be talked about approvingly on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh's show, came to Houston today to announce he will be rejecting $700 million in federal stimulus funds for education.Because, you know, Texas has the whole education thing covered."Texas is on the ri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2010

    HISD Hoops Classic: A-Hole Coach 170, Lee High School 35

    ​It was the biggest rout since Hitler's Panzers took on Poland's cavalry, and showed about as much sportsmanship: The powerful, undefeated Yates High basketball creamed not-so-powerful Lee 170-35, pressing and gunning all the way.The halftime score was Yates 100-12, so obviously the Lions couldn't ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2009

    Carnegie Vanguard May Finally (And Happily) Move To A New Home

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier says he loves working with "prickly parents" because they care about their children and want what's best for them.Perhaps that's why he and the HISD administrative team are finally on the brink of landing a new home for Carnagie Vang ... More >>

  • News

    September 17, 2009

    Opting Out on Obama

    Plus: A Houston actress hits the big screen.

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2009

    Exposing Obama's "Brainwash The Kids" Scheme, With KTRH's Michael Berry

    ​You gotta admit this about the right-wing, talk-show-listening, Fox-News-loving one-third of America -- no one can whip up a paranoid kerfluffle like they can.The latest insidious event causing them to storm the barricades is Barack Obama's Stalin-like plan to hypnotize mass numbers of gullible s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2009

    HISD Set To Pick Old White Guy For Next Superintendent?

    ​The Houston Chronicle is reporting that HISD seems to have settled on Terry Grier, of the San Diego school district, to be its next superintendent. They have the sources over there, so we're inclined to believe it.Earlier this afternoon HISD spokesman Norm Uhl sent out word that the supe pick wou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2009

    HISD's Customer-Service Survey: Some Highlights

    ​The Houston school district has released a new "customer satisfaction" survey, where parents and the general Houston population were asked to rate various aspects of the district.Officials are crowing because many of the ratings increased -- "The results of a new survey conducted earlier this yea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2009

    HISD To Announce It's Done Better Than Ever In State Rankings

    ​HISD has broken its record for schools ranked as "exemplary" or "recognized," spokesman Norm Uhl says.Last year 57 percent of its 296 schools achieved that ranking; this year 70 percent of its schools have."This is one for the HISD history books and a highlight for me as I end my career at HISD," ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2009

    HISD Takes Back Some Of Its Objection To A Critic's Numbers

    Last week when Hair Balls reported that LULAC (the League of United Latin American Citizens) had sent letters to the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts saying it should investigate Houston ISD for the amount of money it spends on two private alternative schools, we w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2009

    Travis Elementary Gets Water

    Photo courtesy of WikipediaWe told you last week that Travis Elementary, the school that was so afflicted with swine flu and/or the fears thereof, was starting its summer session of classes. This morning we heard from Houston ISD spokesman Norm Uhl who tells us the "water samples tested last week ... More >>

  • News

    June 4, 2009

    Let the Record Reflect

    This isn't the first time T.H. Rogers Principal Cathryn White has been accused of intimidating disregard for teachers and parents.

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2009

    Going To Summer School At Lamar? You're Buying A Brand-New Uniform

    Lamar High School, like several HISD schools, has a mandatory uniform for its students -- polo shirt with the school's name, khaki pants or shorts. Parents are expected to pay for the clothing, although we're sure there's some program that helps those who can't afford it.Some Lamar students, because ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2009

    Obama Follows Yet Another Bush Policy: He Praises HISD

    Photo courtesy White HouseThe Houston school district got a shout-out from President Obama this morning.In a major speech on education, Obama urged a raft of reforms "to finally make No Child Left Behind live up to its name."Among the reforms he urged districts to adopt: Houston's method of keeping ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2009

    HISD Explores its Alternatives With CEP

    Next week's Houston Independent School District Board meeting coincides with its self-imposed January 15 deadline for whether it will continue to fork over $17 million a year to the private Community Education Partners for its two alternative schools here. CEP and HISD agreed to a contract extension ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2008

    Fort Worth's School Superintendent Has A Bigger Salary Than Houston's

    Houston, you have been dissed by Fort Worth. Fort Worth.That cowtown up north has gone all big-time, paying its school superintendent the highest salary in the state. Abe Saavedra here in Houston has been relegated to the poverty line.Fort Worth ISD superintendent Melody Johnson received a 1.4 perce ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 1, 2008

    Couple Sues Over Background Checks At Their Kid's School

    You can hardly visit your kid's school these days without handing over your license to have a background check done to make sure you're not some child-raping murderer.It can be a bit of a hassle if you're, say, a conscientious parent who may not be the most legal resident of the US but still wants t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2008

    HISD Gets A New Media Guru

    It took a while, but the Houston school district has apparently found someone to fill the shows of departed media spokesman Terry Abbott. The bad news is the new guy comes from Clear Channel, which is the hated monster of independent-minded radio fans everywhere. The good news is he comes from Clea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2008

    HISD No Longer Looking To Kill All Busing To Magnets

    Some HISD parents have been worrying about whether their kids will still be able to get transportation to magnet schools. The high price of gas and the district's strained budget has led to talk about eliminating busing to magnets. Superintendent Abe Saavedra presented a series of magnet-busing pro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2008

    Teacher Of The Year And Hero To Drunk Drivers

    We wondered yesterday if the woman who may set hundreds of drunk drivers free because she failed to test breathalyzer equipment could possibly be the same woman who won a Teacher of the Year award in 2007 for her work at Sharpstown Middle School. No way, we thought, although how many Deetrice Walla ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2008

    Not Everyone's Happy Mark Twain's "Nice White Boys" Principal Is Back

    The happy days of the ’50s that were once yours and mine are still kicking over at Mark Twain Elementary, where Principal Joyce Dauber was reinstated after being suspended for making racially insensitive comments to teachers about her grandson’s class placement. Three parents upset with Superin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2008

    Saavedra Is Safe For Now, Spokesman Says

    All bow before the power of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce!!!! After their press conference yesterday, after a two-hour closed-door board meeting, it appears for now that HISD superintendent Abe Saavedra's job is safe for another year. At least it is according to a terse statement by district sp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2008

    Finally, Bellaire High Is Set To Re-Open

    Bellaire High students, your vacation is over. HISD spokesman Norm Uhl tells Hair Balls that power was restored to the building "about 15 minutes ago." School is set for Monday, much to the relief, no doubt, of Bellaire parents. A bunch of other schools are set to open on Monday, too; check the li ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2008

    More HISD Schools Open Tomorrow

    The party's over for students of 53 more HISD schools. Thursday they'll be headed back to class. Check here for a list of who's opening when. "We have 53 schools on the list for Thursday which I believe brings us up to 200 with 93 to go," HISD spokesman Norm Uhl says. "We anticipate the rest of ou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2008

    Lower-Income HISD School Gets Prestigious Program

    A fourth HISD elementary school has been approved to offer the highly thought-of International Baccalaureate program, and it's not like any of the others. Right now only three HISD elementaries offer the IB Primary Years program, and they're the kind of schools you would imagine would be associated ... More >>

  • News

    April 26, 2007

    Houston Chronicle, Virginia Tech massacre, HISD, George Michael

    The Chron's blog obsession leaves taste behind

  • News

    August 23, 2001

    One for the Geezers

    Former staffers line up to testify against KHOU

  • News

    September 16, 1999


    Unhappy Talk TV. At KHOU, the hit tune is "Take This Job and Shove It!"

  • News

    November 27, 1997